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Name: People v. Endacott
Case #: B199122
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/16/2008
Summary

Customs agents could seize laptop computer and search files without probable cause as a valid border search. Endacott’s laptop computer was seized by customs agents at the Los Angeles Airport after he returned on a flight from Thailand. Child pornography was found on the computer. Agents retained the computer and obtained consent to search another computer in his possession and some other digital media. A search of the computers and digital media showed that they contained thousands of images of child pornography. The trial court concluded the search was without probable cause but upheld it as a border search. The appellate court affirmed, finding that a computer is entitled to no more protection than any other container. The suspicionless border search of the computer was valid. The fact that Endacott was allowed to leave and the search continued later does not make the search invalid.